​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Get Ready for Winter

Home comfort tips from CenterPoint Energy's Home Service ​Plus® (HSP)

When the first cold snap hits, it's a bad time to discover your furnace or boiler isn’t working or your fireplace insert won’t produce a warm, glowin​g flame. Your trusted technicians at Home Service Plus have identified a few things you can do this fall to hopefully keep you warm all winter.

Furnaces and Boilers Fall Checklist:

Check and change your furnace filter every month. A dirty filter only allows a house to maintain temperatures of 60°F – 65°F in sub-zero weather. 

Here's how to check your filter: 

  • First, shut off the power to your furnace. 
  • Locate the blower compartment (where most filters are found) ​ 
  • Slide out the old and slide in the new filter (be sure flow arrows point towards the furnace or blower).

Schedule an annual furnace or boiler tune-up. Schedule a tune-up during late summer or early fall to identify any potential issues before the first cold snap.

Check damper positions. Improve air flow and indoor comfort by checking air ducts to ensure air is flowing to the proper portions of your house.

Inspect return vents. If these vents are dusty, have your duct work cleaned to ensure maximum energy efficiency and comfort. Schedule a duct cleaning service Home Service Plus today.

Check boiler pressure gauges. Be sure to check the gauges on your system annually. If the pressure reads low you should schedule a service appointment so an HSP technician can diagnose and make any necessary repairs. 

Appliance Fall Checklist

Fireplaces and fireplace inserts

  • Keep the area around the hearth clear of debris, decorations and other flammable materials.
  • Be sure the damper is opened prior to enjoying that first fire of the season.
  • Schedule an annual fireplace tune-up​ to keep your hearth providing years of safe and efficient warmth and beauty to your home.

Humidifiers

  • Clean the filter and drain hose annually.
  • Flush condensing lines once each year with fresh water, followed by a small amount (8 ounces) of 50/50 water and bleach solution. Pour this down the hose to keep bacteria from building up. ​

Central air conditioners

  • Clear any obstructions from the outside unit.
  • Wash off any debris gently with a hose, being careful to not damage any fins. Be sure to turn the power to the unit off before washing
  • Do not cover the unit, as it may promote moisture build-up that can cause rust or provide a cozy home for small animals that may chew ​on electrical wires.
  • Schedule a central air conditioner tune-up​. Save time and money by scheduling it with your annual furnace tune-up.

Winter Energy-Saving Tips:

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you’re at home and awake. If you turn your thermostat down 10 degrees for at least 8 hours each day then you’ll save about 5 to 15 percent per year on your heating bill.

Use a programmable thermostat to match your household's schedule. Set the temperature to be cooler while you are away or sleeping.

Close fireplace dampers when not in use so you don't lose heat.

Redirect ceiling fans to blow air up (clockwise direction on most fans) to pull cool air up and push warm air down.

Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to allow the sun's heat to warm your house, and close curtains and blinds at night so you don't lose heat when the sun goes down.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Schedule Maintenance Service!

Center​Point Energy's Home Service Plus repair and maintenance services are available to ho​meowners throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cit​ies metro area and in many parts of Greater Minnesota. Schedule service online, or ​​​call ​612-333-1664 in the metro area; toll-free ​​877-HSP-1664 in Greater Minnesota​​. ​

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